Since DC’s reboot, I have hinted publicly about the comics I want other people to make so that I can read them. And by hinting, I mean, “talking about them endlessly until I inevitably lose friends.” However, hinting doesn’t seem to be getting me anywhere. So I’m harnessing the inconceivable power of The Cultural Gutter to advocate for my desires. These are comics that should be. These are comics that I would like to read. These are comics that humanity deserves. And even with my love of marginal characters and comics, I can’t imagine them being much more marginal than this.
Dr. Victor Doom remains the industry standard of supervillains (which I know, I’ve said before). He rules Latveria with a steely fist. He reviles pitiful and insolent world leaders who do not have the courage to do what must be done. Sure, we get glimpses of his home life here and there, but I would like to see more. Chez Doom wouldn’t focus on that meddlesome Reed Richards and his Fantastic Four. In Chez Doom, we’d spend time at home with Doom as faithful servant and almost friend Boris keeps a journal about, say, preparing beet and turnip* taquitos for Doom–because every day is taquitos for Doom. While beet and turnip taquitos sound depressing, Boris’ taquitos are excellent. Boris himself makes do with peelings taquitos, eating them from a plate on his knees as he sits on his bed. Some days, Boris’ own taquitos are all potato eyes. (Even he has some trouble with potato eye taquitos).
But Boris takes pride in his ability to butle in even the most extreme circumstances–whether it’s the Human Torch scorching the antique rugs in Doom’s living room or that fool Iron Man stealing Doom’s look (again). Boris struggles as Red Skull won’t stop calling Doom “to ask a few quick questions” about mixing occult arts and mad science, interrupting Doom as he broods at his pipe organ over the melody he is composing for the latest Latverian national anthem. And every once in a while, Reed Richards comes over and ruins everything, because Richards always ruins everything. Everything is potato eye taquitos when Reed Richards is around.
Chimp & Shark Bail Bonds
I first came to love King Shark in Secret Six. King Shark is a villain, but mostly King Shark is a shark. When Secret Six ended during DC’s Great Reboot**, King Shark transformed from a great white to a hammerhead shark and joined Suicide Squad with his old Secret Six teammate, Floyd Lawton/Deadshot (tragically sans pornstache). Detective Chimp is a brilliant consulting detective, scholar of the occult arts and chimpanzee. With Det. Chimp’s investigative skills and King Shark’s muscle and keen great white shark tracking senses***, C & S Bail Bonds is there for all your bail assessment and bounty hunting needs, whether mundane, supervillainous or supernatural. King Shark tries to reform, but can he? And how does Det. Chimp feel about being a tool of the man in an unjust system? Can Det. Chimp tolerate King Shark’s singing, gross eating and messy desk for long? King Shark thinks it’s hilarious to call their agency,”Monkey Business.” Det. Chimp explains the difference between monkeys and apes for the thousandth time. King Shark tries to make jokes about how bail jumpers have just “jumped the shark!” Det. Chimp sighs and pours another drink. Det. Chimps’ head is killing him, but King Shark brings in super-powered bailjumpers and Det. Chimp needs the cash. I’m willing to accept C & S Bail Bonds as a back-up feature in Detective Comics. (I understand the comic’s appeal is niche).
Highway to Hell
Longtime Doom Patrol villains, The Brain and Monsieur Mallah are long haul truckers. Mallah does all the driving because he’s a super-intelligent gorilla and the Brain is super-intelligent, but he’s also a disembodied brain in a canister. As the Brain navigates their routes and maintains their schedule on seemingly endless roads, he comes to terms with being disembodied. During an extended haul in South America, Monsieur Mallah reads the writings of Che Guevara, including Congo Diary, and becomes radicalized. Mallah embraces his identity as a gay francophone gorilla, and masters revolutionary tactics. As they come to accept themselves, the Brain and Monsieur Mallah also learn to accept their love. Ultimately, they create an evil partnership built on love and trust. And, yes this is kind of The Wages of Fear, but with a disembodied brain and a super-intelligent gorilla, who is also a brilliant surgeon and tactician. And more love. I’m not entirely sold on the title, Highway To Hell, but I’m completely sold on the story.
Star Sapphire and the Amazons of Glamor
Star Sapphire and the Amazons of Glamor is the only way I can deal with Star Sapphire’s costume. There will never be a more magenta comic than Star Sapphire and the Amazons of Glamor. Every cover will be in shades of magenta, fuschia, violet and Pantone’s 2014 color of the year, “radiant orchid.” In fact, Star Sapphire and the Amazons of Glamor will incorporate Pantone’s color of the year, every year. Each issue’s cover will be lenticular–with Carol Ferris shifting from a fabulous outfit to her Star Sapphire costume depending on what angle you look at it. And the comic will be so sparkly. Star Sapphire is a drag diva traveling through space with her “Glamarons,” known in their secret modeling identities as “the Amazons of Glamor.” Star Sapphire and the Glamarons patrol the galaxy offering fashion advice and throwing shade for good. In her secret identity, Carol Ferris runs a modeling agency, hiring out the Amazons of Glamor for shows and events and finding out what’s what in all the highest powered and most fashionable places in New York City. Are the Amazons of Glamor really only out for themselves, pulling space cat burglaries and breaking hearts, or are they models and super-powered space ladies with hearts of gold? And can Star Sapphire’s on-again, off-again boyfriend Hal finally get her to settle down? Every issue would come with paper dolls and sticker book inserts. And I think it’s a good candidate for a cartoon, with special guest star Tim Gunn, and maybe even a band!
That’s plenty for now, but knowing my brain, I’m sure there will be more. A Prince Namor / Submariner romance comic might be fun. Prince Namor sighs over his signed picture of Sue Storm. Or, Stephen Strange, M.D., in which Dr. Strange’s colleagues must cover for him as he tends to cosmic threats or calms down the Hulk.
*Beets and turnips are, of course, Latveria’s primary export.
**Secret Six started a new run this week.
***I just like King Shark better as a great white shark. I mean, look at this business.
Carol Borden would also like Gail Simone, Becky Cloonan, Jordie Bellaire and Jenny Frisson to team up for a creator-owned barbarian comic. (Yes, she knows about Red Sonja). And you might think that she wants to live in a the alternate universe where she runs comics, but what she would really like is to live in the alternate universe where Dwayne McDuffie does.
This piece was originally published by The Cultural Gutter on Dec. 4, 2014.